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FIRE STATISTICS, UK 2002

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Latest national fire statistics covering the fourth quarter of 2002, ...
Latest national fire statistics covering the fourth quarter of 2002,

and the year 2002, were issued today by the ODPM.

Industrial Action by Fire Brigades

Ten days in November 2002 were affected by strike action. Data was

collected by the MOD during this period but, apart from fatalities,

was not of sufficient quality for use in compiling fire statistics

for the fourth quarter of 2002. Consequently, estimates have been

made for that ten-day period.

Fires

First estimates show that the UK fire and rescue service attended

just under one million fires and false fire alarms during 2002 - 3%

fewer than in 2001. The total number of fires attended decreased by

5% to 517,700. Within this total, the number of 'primary' fires

(fires involving property, vehicles and/or casualties) fell by 4% to

218,900 and there was a 5% fall to 286,700 in the number of

'secondary' fires (mainly outdoor fires such as refuse and

grassland). There were 64,600 fires in the home, a fall of 6%

compared with 2001.

Deaths and Injuries

There was a 6% decrease in the estimated number of fire deaths from

613 to 578 in 2002. This compares with 613 recorded in 2000, 623 in

1999 and 656 in 1998. Within this category there was a fall in the

estimated number of deaths from accidental dwelling fires, down to

364 from the previous year's estimate of 435. Injuries resulting from

fires fell by 6% to 16,400, the lowest figure recorded since the

revised fire statistics collection was introduced in 1994.

False alarms

The number of false fire alarms decreased by 1% to 477,100. Within

this category the number of false alarms due to apparatus fell

slightly to 279,200 whilst malicious false alarms fell by 10% to

67,100.

NOTES

1. The figures in the quarterly 'Fire Statistics Monitor' publication

are compiled from reports submitted to the ODPM on fires attended by local authority fire brigades.

2. Detailed information is collected on all fires in buildings,

vehicles and outdoor structures and any fires involving casualties or

rescues (ie'primary' fires). Less detailed aggregated information

is collected on 'secondary' and chimney fires; so subsequent analysis

of them is limited.

3. 'Primary' fires include all fires in buildings, vehicles and

outdoor structures or any fire involving casualties, rescues, or

fires attended by five or more appliances. 'Secondary' fires are the

majority of outdoor fires including grassland and refuse fires unless

they involve casualties or rescues, property loss or five or more

appliances attend. They include fires in single derelict buildings.

Chimney fires are any fires in occupied buildings where the fire was

confined within the chimney structure (and did not involve casualties

or rescues or attendance by five or more appliances).

4. A person whose death is attributed to a fire is counted as a

fatality even if death occurred weeks or months later. However, it is

not always the case that fire was the cause of death. The figures for

fatalities are thus subject torevision, as information supplied by

fire brigades needs to be cross-checked against the cause of death

that appears on the death certificate. The main area of uncertainty

is whether fire was the cause of death in road accident fatalities.

The 2001 and 2002 figures in the Monitor have been adjusted, based on

previous experience, to anticipate the outcome of the revision

process outlined above.

5. Fire Statistics are part of the National Statistics series which

are produced to high professional standards, as set out in the

National Statistics Code of Practice. For more information on

National Statistics see www.statistics.gov.uk

6. Copies of 'Fire Statistics Monitor, UK, 2002' and other fire

statistical publications can be downloaded via the ODPM website.

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